HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Lincoln Memorial University men’s and women’s tennis teams were a strong presence in their first competition of the fall season as they traveled to Huntsville, Alabama this past weekend for the 2012 Fall Charger Stampede. The Fall Charger Stampede is an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Sanctioned Event.
The highlight of the weekend came on the women’s side, as the doubles tandem of Leah Donoff and newcomer Lena Vasilyova rolled through three rounds of play en route to an appearance in the championship match, where they came up short against Jade Curtis and Morgan Zowczak. Curtis and Zowack were the top-ranked team in the field. Prior to that match, Donoff and Vasilyova defeated Aurelie Gaborit and Candace Laurnet of Shorter University in a three-set thriller. Gaborit and Laurent stood as the second-ranked team in the field coming into that match.
Alexander Granger and Jessica Baker also advanced to the second round of play in the doubles bracket.
On the singles side, Vasilyova made the strongest showing for the Lady Railsplitters with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Maria Lawton to advance to the third round. She fell in that round to Candan Laurent, the second-ranked player in the field.
Alexander Granger and Leah Donoff also advanced into the second round of play.
On the men’s side, Philipp Hoffmann and Will Sparks advanced into the second round. Hoffmann defeated Andrew Fish of Western Kentucky University in straight sets before falling to Josh Reason in a three-set marathon, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. Will Sparks bested Bruno Medeiros in straight sets but fell to Alex Taranda of Western Kentucky in the next round of play.
The duo of Sparks and Marcelo Alvim advanced to the second round in the doubles bracket, as they edged Shorter’s tandem of Arturo Lifshitz and Colt Kelly, 8-6. They were ousted by Tim Hewitt and Nicolas Pinones in the next round.
Marcelo Alvim made a strong showing in the back draw of singles play, advancing all the way to finals of that bracket. However, he was defeated in that match by Thales Castro of the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
The men and women will continue their fall season Friday, as they host the LMU Speed Tournament at the LMU Tennis Complex starting at 9 a.m.